bandy legs

plural noun

  1. another term for bow legs

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Example Sentences

He was broadly built, with long apish arms and a mighty chest, but with lean loins and thin bandy legs.

On the pretence that walking might give me bandy legs she caught me up and pressed me to her bosom.

He even made Bandy-legs promise to eat dinner with him when the wonderful dish of frogs' legs would be served.

Bandy-legs heaved a long sigh at this juncture, which of course called attention to him.

Even Bandy-legs seemed to have forgotten his woes in connection with Nicodemus, for he laughed and joked with the rest.


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About This Word

What does bandy legs mean?

Bandy legs is a condition in which the legs curve outward, causing the knees to point outward.

The term can also refer to legs affected in this way.

The adjective bandy means the same thing as bowed—having a bend or crook outward. The condition can also be called bowleg or bow legs (in which the word bow is a reference to the type of curve seen in a bow—the kind used to shoot arrows). Someone with this condition can be described as bandy-legged or bow-legged (or bowlegged).

Many young children appear to have bandy legs, but in most cases their legs straighten as they continue to grow. However, in some cases, abnormal bowing of the legs may be caused by diseases like rickets or Blount’s disease.

Bandy legs are associated with cowboys, probably due to the idea that the condition can be the result of spending too much time straddling a saddle. However, frequent horseback riding is unlikely to cause bandy legs.

Example: I had bandy legs as a kid, but my legs straightened out by the time I was four or so. 

Where does bandy legs come from?

The first records of the term bandy legs come from the late 1600s. The adjective bandy is almost exclusively used to describe legs. Terms like bow legs and bowleg have been used since at least the mid-1500s.

It’s common for many children to appear to have bandy legs as their legs are developing, but in most cases it does not need to be treated. Bandy legs isn’t the only condition that involves an abnormal curvature of the legs. The condition known as knock-knee involves the opposite situation, in which the legs are curved inward (resulting in knees that can knock together when walking).

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to bandy legs?

What are some synonyms for bandy legs?

What are some words that share a root or word element with bandy legs

What are some words that often get used in discussing bandy legs?

How is bandy legs used in real life?

It’s much more common to describe someone as bow-legged than as having bandy legs. However, describing someone this way may be rude or insensitive.